The Van Buren Boys

The Blogosphere's best source for the latest analysis and
commentary from the world of Georgetown Hoyas basketball.

Monday, January 30, 2006

New ESPN Rankings

Haven't seen the AP rankings yet, but I would suspect that we are in a similar spot to ESPN's # 22 slot. Seems fair given we have the meat of the Big East schedule coming up. Agree with Jester's Rick Flair quote (if it were professionally acceptable, I'd be making the accompanying sound effect as well. know that i'm doing it on the inside). From what little I've seen, I would think WV would be a smidge higher than Pitt; but, admittedly, I'm basing that solely off of BE standings.

Not to keep bashing the crap out of GW, but somebody at ESPN please explain to me how the # 1 and undefeated WV team is ranked a slot behind GW?!! Is being tops of the A10 superior to tops of the hands-down nastiest conference? I want to be there at the end of the season waving goodbye to the Colonials they zoom down the rankings & out of post season.

As far as our schedule, I'm almost more scared of playing St. John's again & visiting Marquette than I am of heading to Nova.

Very Telling

Surfing around on this morning I came across this statistical break down on the "expanded" Big East standings (for some reason the html got screwed up...scroll down):

ExpandedAP 25ESPN/USAOverall
West Virginia413174.262.9W1

I think that this chart highlights the real distinguishing factor between GU and Marquette and what I would call the "elite" Big East teams. What really sets those other teams apart is their record against other top teams. Now, I realize that we've had a hard go at it having to play most of our top 25 games on the road. But, in the words of Dan Martin (quoting Rick Flair), "if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best." We did that with Duke. We need to do it with more consistency down the stretch if we want to be considered a real contender.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Cincy Beatdown

I'm going to go out on a limb with 2:40 to go in the game & a 23 point lead, GU will complete the utter domination of a rather thuggish looking Bearcat team.

I'm assuming that Diamond & IPB were at the game. Was the student crowd sizeable? I was surprised tha the crowd didn't go ballistic with the coffin nailing Green dunk w/ a little over 3 mintues to go. Overall it seemed like we put a solid 40 minutes of ball together with relatively little problems. With this win and a the victory of ND, we should be a top 20 team in both polls come next week.

Based on the last 2 performances at home, it'd be great if the student body made MCI a home court feared by other Big East teams.

By the way, during a TV timeout, they showed Jack pulverizing a Cincinatti t-shirt.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Suspect Ranking

If this has already been covered on the board, my bad. I just realized that GW is ranked # 15 or # 14 depending the poll. I know that they only have 1 loss (to #17 NC State), but looking at their schedule, it seems as if the ranking peeps are exaggerating the weight of the victories. In my mind the # 15 team in the country is a team that would warrant a 3 or 4 seed in the Dance & have a legit chance to go to the elite eight. Does anyone actually think GW is that good?

Their early season wins remind me of the Rheese Gibson era early season games played on campus. The win over Marshall is a big more impressive now given their victory over WVU, but beating Stony Brook, not quite as impressive. Being top of the A10 is cool & they should get an at large bid regardless of the result of the conference tourney, but come on - what kind of crazy pills are these people taking?

Am I overlooking some factor?

Can't wait until the Big Ticket is on the Hilltop

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Big East Tenacity

How 'bout the WV loss to Marshall at home! Johnnies played UConn tough early on, but Huskies ended up pulling it out. Is it my imagination or has the level of Big East play, in particular by non-ranked original Big East teams, escalated to a new level? It's like all of a sudden the league is realizing how good it actually is and nobody wants to be the one on the couch watching the games in the Garden on TV. It's going to be a dogfight to and in the BE tourney. Based on how things are shaping up, altough UConn is clearly the top dog, the conference automatic bid is pretty much up for grabs.

And, although it has no bearing on the above, Go Cocks!! - knocking off # 4 Florida (sorry, I had the urge to use the phrase Go Cocks as I found a USC hat in my closet tonight)

Email from JTIII to all GU students

Dear Hoyas,

Saturday's game against Duke was special. The environment, the atmosphere - and theoutcome - brought back memories of Georgetown Basketball circa the early 80's.

Our fans, especially the student body, were incredible. As I've told you before, we feed off your energy and enthusiasm. You make a difference and for that the entire team thanks you.

We have six home games left starting this Saturday against Cincinnati. As we head into the heart of our BIG EAST schedule we need you more than ever. Duke was just the start; please continue to come out to the MCI Center and duplicate the environment of last Saturday. Wear your blue and gray, and bring the noise!

Thank you.

John Thompson III
Head Men's Basketball Coach

We are.....Georgetown!

On Hibbs:

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Win is a Win

I know a win is a win & at this juncture a conference win is big, but the final score seemed much closer than it should have been. Any particular reason the ND game was a squeaker?

Monday, January 23, 2006


The new polls just came out. I didn't expect us to crack the top 25. But I have to say that I'm a little disappointed that we did not even get a single vote!

That basically says to me that the powers-that-be think our win was a fluke.

Definitely a slap in the face.

My Two Cents Regarding GU v. Duke

First, the obvious. It was a great game. I was almost sick to my stomach by the end of it. The entire second half my heart was just racing and my legs were tired from all of the pacing that I did. I'm glad that Jen had a baby shower that day, because I think I would have scared the crap out of her with all of my screaming and cheering.

Now, the good about the game. While I haven't seen as many JT3-era games as Diamond or IPB, this was definitely the first game that I saw where the Princeton-style offense looked good--and I mean real good. Now, the question is: are we just getting better at running it, or was Duke that bad at defending it. It seriously looked like they weren't even expecting the back-door cuts...even after the 20th time we did it. I think that one falls on Coach K.

Also, Green and Wallace looked awesome. I know that Bowman scored 23, and had the most rebounds and the most blocks, but the former two were the stars of the game. Bowman was just doing a bit of what he was supposed to do (and, FYI, it was only a 180, nopt a 360 Diamond). But more often the not his scores came off of good feeds from some one else.

Wallace may not have scored alot, but he looked like the perfect point guard. He handled the ball well, especically against the Duke full-court press. He managed the tempo of the game beautifully. And I personally think that his wrap-around, acrobatic, reverse layup was the play of the game. Whenever the team needed a presence on the court to settle them down, I felt like he provided it.

And Jeff Green finally looked like the player we saw last year. He did it all. Great passing. Shooting from the outside. Shutting Williams down inside. He just looked great. It was funny how the anouncers on CBS just fell in love with him. It was obvious that they thought he was the team's star. They just kept on saying how it was obvious why he was co-Big East Rookie of the Year last year; that he looked bigger than his listed 6-9; that he looked dangerous from anywhere on the court; and, when things looked shaky down the stretch, that "the Hoyas will be in good shape as long as they get the ball into Green's hands." It was wonderful to see the big fella' back.

All that aside, there were a few things that concerned me about the game. First, it is now obvious to me that Roy is not ready for the big time. In fact, he may never be. I know that he's worked hard in the off season, and that he looked pretty good in the easy games in the pre-Big East season, but I just don't think he has that killer instinct. With Green playing as well as he was, and with Williams in foul trouble relatively early, Roy should have been in a position to make some noise...there wasn't a lot of pressure on him. But whenever he game into the game he just looked flat and sluggish. I'm just not sure that he has the stuff to cut it against the bruising big men in the Big East. I know that all of those who post on the HoyaTalk boards are enamoured with him...but I'm not.

I'm also a little concerned with our ability to finish. Another minute in that game and we probably would not have won (heck, we might not have won if Paulus had just got the ball to Redick down the stretch). We played a near perfect game and still had some problems. It'll be interesting to see what happens (especially on the road) against some of the good teams in our own conference.

All that aside, it was a great game, and it kills me that I couldn't be there to enjoy it with the rest of you. Just a few weeks to early.

While I'm not convinced that we'll match that play in our games against Pitt, WVa, Nova, Syracuse, or even Marquette (who I, personally, think is better than an overrated 'Cuse), I can't wait to see us try. The key is going to be intensity. It's easy to get up for the #1 team in the country in a nationally televised game before a packed house...what happens when those things aren't present? That's especially going to be the case for the away games at Nova and Marquette, which I think will be huge for our post-season fate.

It's going to be an exciting February. Go Hoyas! And Diamond/ me some tickets for those later games...I'll be in DC by the 12th!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Duke game

Doyle is picking Duke to win it. Check out this (frankly not unfair) slam on Bowman. Wow.

IPD and I will be there cheering for the blue & grey. It looks like Italian will also be making the trip. This could be a defining moment for JTIII and the program....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

South Florida Scare

Wasn't able to listen to or track the game online. Was it as close as the score indicated?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Did anyone see last night's game?

I missed it but it sounded from the press reports as though Pittsnogle decimated us. This is not surprising since I observed him almost single-handedly beat us in a critical contest last season. He was tough to stop then and I guess even more so now. It would have been nice to prevail but the likelihood of us winning on West Virginia's home court was slim. Hopefully we can split the season series when they visit MCI.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Savor It Boys...

...because it probably won't last long.

Here are the Big East's standings after last night's games.

Georgetown (2-0, 10-2)
West Virginia (2-0, 10-3)
Pittsburgh (1-0, 12-0)
Syracuse (1-0, 13-2)
Rutgers (1-0, 11-3)
Cincinnati (2-1, 13-3)
Connecticut (1-1, 13-1)
Villanova (1-1, 10-1)
Louisville (1-1, 13-2)
Marquette (1-1, 11-4)
Seton Hall (1-1, 9-4)
DePaul (1-1, 8-5)
Notre Dame (0-2, 9-4)
Providence (0-2, 7-6)
St. John's (0-2, 7-6)
South Florida (0-2, 6-9)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

DJ takes down SJ.

Owens was amazing and our offense looked sharp. The defense had some lapses and Roy and Jeff were quiet but this was a good win, and it was nice to get some revenge for last year's debacle. I hope Jeff and Stallion saw it in person. Bring on the Mountaineers!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Providence recap

The IPB will probably want to weigh in with his own thoughts later. I think we performed adequately and beat a bad team the way we should have. The first half was probably as bad as we've played all season. We had 15 turnovers -- probably 10-12 of which were totally unforced. It looked like someone slipped the team codeine before the game. The second half we looked strong and tore apart Providence. Every time they made a charge, we answered. We definitely seem to be a second half team, the Vandy debacle aside. I hope that we can limit the long stretches of ineffectiveness though. As for the players, Roy looked horrible in the first half and sharp in the second half. He pulled down monster boards and had some nice blocks. Brandon also had a double-double in what was probably his strongest performance of the year. I only counted two "Bad Brandons" and saw many "Good Brandons." Ashanti made a bunch of huge plays and sparked the second half run but he was also largely responsible for the first half deficit. JW also had a pretty good second half, hitting some key shots. Green was MIA for most of the game. He never makes mistakes and tends to contribute in small ways but he's still not asserting himself like he did last year. Roy is now the focus of the offense and that seems to have really taken him off of his game. That said, he hit two big free throws down the stretch to secure the lead and pulled down a couple of monster boards. We didn't see much from the freshmen. Egerson didn't have a great game; Sapp played okay. As a side note, the refs were horrible again. One, in particular, was just embarrassing, but the bad calls went both ways.

St. John's is a must win, like this one was. We can't afford losses against the bottom of the league. Hopefully, Italian and Jeff will give us a post-game.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Where we're at.

Okay, so 8-2 is probably about what we expected going into conference play. I had hoped for 9-1 with the only loss being to Illinois; the loss to Vandy stings but we haven't really hurt ourselves. The wins at UTEP and Oregon are solid but not spectacular. Our current RPI is 86 -- this will naturally get stronger through league play (plus Duke), unless we lose a lot of games. The next five games are crucial. The home games against Providence and South Florida are must wins against clearly weaker opponents. Likewise, St. John's on the road should be a "w," although they've given us fits in recent years, including last year's backbreaker. The two other, at UConn and West Virginia, will be tough. 3-2 coming out of this stretcher and going into Duke would be fine. But we really can't afford to do any worse. I'm hoping for 4-1 b/c I think that West Virginia is not as strong as advertised. IPB and I will be there on Thursday. Bring on the Friars!

In personal news, I met the IPB's latest victim last night. She seems lovely, but unfortunately she is neither a Hoyas nor Celtics fan; I didn't ask about Bill Bradley or Chris Matthews.
Also, over the break I got engaged to a Texan. No date has been announced but we can start discussing the bachelor party -- hopefully, an event with the exotic flare of Jester's and the nudity/drunkenness of Italian's.
BTW: Any job news Jester? I enjoyed the X-mas letter. Which judges did you argue before?
Final topic of discussion: how do we get IPB and Jeff to read and post on the blog. Any suggestions? I've been thinking that we must have some pretty embarrassing photos that could be posted to coerce participation.